Editorials - Sept. 30, 2021
People’s Party of Canada’s leader Maxime Bernier continued his divisive and aggressive style of politics last week when he posted three mainstream journalists’ personal e-mail addresses on his Twitter feed, encouraging his followers to “play dirty”. Twitter immediately took down the Tweet and suspended his account for 12 hours for violating their standards, but the damage was done.
The three journalists had dared to question the PPC’s ties to known white supremacy groups, resulting in Bernier’s accusations of a “smear campaign” and his now-deleted Tweet. It was interesting to note that the information from the deleted Tweet continued to be shared and discussed in several chat rooms and message boards that are associated with white supremacy groups, according to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.
The right-wing conservative movement continues to have issues with mainstream media. Former U.S. President Donald Trump cried “fake news” whenever journalists wrote unfavourable stories or questioned him, destroying his followers’ trust of the media. Now, many Canadians are leery of stories even by trusted journalists with credible organizations such as CTV, Global, CBC, The Globe and Mail, The National Post and countless others.
With distrust of government and media being pushed by party leaders like Bernier, is it any wonder that some people have no idea where to turn to get information and facts, and rely on unvetted and often harmful misinformation circulating on social media? – DS
Frustrating, yet fair
While many Canadians have been left wondering why $610 million of their dollars were spent to meet the new Parliament, same as the old Parliament, few, if any, are questioning the legitimacy of the results. In Canada, there is a trust in the election process (though perhaps some frustration with the first-past-the-post method that has many calling for a proportional representation model) that leaves us confident, though not always satisfied, that whomever was elected was done so rightly.
Meanwhile, south of the border, they’re still talking about the 2020 election. Almost a year later, there are some who simply refuse to give up the ghost - namely former President Donald Trump and his enablers. Texas election officials, at the behest of Trump, are now auditing the state’s 2020 results in four large counties, despite Trump winning the state, though by only 5.5 percentage points, the tightest margin of victory for a Republican presidential nominee in decades. The counties include Democratic strongholds like Houston and Dallas.
The audit announcement came just hours after Trump called for Republican Governor Greg Abbott to conduct one, saying that Texans “don’t trust the election system”. With many predicting that Trump will take another run at the presidency in 2024, the work to undermine the election system could already be underway.
It’s clear that many are unhappy with the results of Canada’s Sept. 20 election (if letters to the editor or profane local signs are to be believed), but confidence in our electoral system is, and always has been, high, so that frustration has more to do with the results than it does with the possibility of dirty dealings as ballots were cast. We should consider ourselves lucky that that is the case. – SL
The labour force shortage may soon hit home for a lot of families in North Huron as the municipality’s council grapples with the possibility of closing an arena for the season due to lack of trained staff members.
For years, stories have been told of the difficulty private companies are having attracting and housing qualified people. There have even been similar brushes in the public sector as municipalities sought trained snowplow operators over the past couple years, however this may be the first time that a widely-used local service could be closed as a result. While North Huron Council can hardly be blamed for not being able to find the right people for the job with a one-month search, it does demonstrate a need that may have been overlooked across the area when it comes to employees: the need to offer training.
North Huron’s particular circumstance involves not being able to find people who can run the facility due to certification, but maybe the answer is to find someone willing and train them as soon as possible.
Like planting a tree (which is best done 20 years ago, and failing that done right now), training needs to happen before it’s needed, or as soon as a skills gap is discovered. Finding the right person for the job needs to be planned out years in advance and may involve finding a person who wants to do the job, but may lack the qualifications, and molding them into the right candidate. Training, especially over the past year and a half, may have fallen by the wayside, but it is something that needs to be revisited. Investing in your workforce will always pay dividends, even if a trained employee leaves, because it shows that, as an employer, you want the very best working for you. – JDS